What is a Digital Nomad, and How Do You Become One?

More and more people are adopting the digital nomad lifestyle around the world. In fact, there are now over 35 million digital nomads worldwide. Crazy, right? But, what is a digital nomad? And what are the benefits of being a digital nomad? 

We’re here to answer these exact questions and tell you how you can start navigating toward your ideal digital nomad lifestyle. 


What is a Digital Nomad?

In short, a digital nomad is a type of remote worker or freelancer who only needs an internet connection and a laptop to do their job. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. There’s a range of digital nomad types that suit different people. 

To start with, you have short-term and long-term digital nomads. Short-term consists of traveling for a small amount of time and going back home (a few weeks or months), whereas long-term involves picking a country and staying there for many months or even years. 

Next, you have slow or fast-travel nomads. As the name implies, slow travel means picking a location and staying there for a while without rushing around. On the other hand, fast-travel digital nomads try to explore different places quickly so they can move on to the next area. Typically, you see short-term nomads focus on fast travel and vice versa for long-term nomads who tend to pick slow travel. 

It’s worth mentioning that a digital nomad also differs from a traditional remote worker, as they are usually constrained to living in the country where the company is based. 

Because of the fantastic benefits that come with this type of work, you can see why so many people are adopting the digital nomad lifestyle. 

What’s more, a recent study found that 83% of employers believe that remote working has been successful for their business. And with employees feeling more productive because of it, it’s no wonder employers are starting to let more of their workers work remotely. 

As time continues, we’re likely to see the best career opportunities for the newer generations being offered remotely.


The Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad

So now you know what it is, what are the benefits of being a digital nomad? 

Digital nomads are freelancers, business owners, developers, or those that work in a profession that makes it easy to work anywhere they want.  

Because of this freedom, they can choose where to work based on how much it costs to live in that location, internet speed, and other factors. So, let’s go into detail on these things below.

Monetary Benefits

As mentioned above, there are great monetary benefits to becoming a digital nomad. You can choose where you want to work and are not confined to places with extremely high rent, like London or New York. 

Another advantage is that you can benefit from a higher standard of living due to your lower costs. This will greatly improve your quality of life and increase your spending money. Who doesn’t want to eat out at restaurants and travel more? 


When traveling the world and visiting new places, you want to waste no time when it comes to getting work done. Because of this, you’ll become more motivated to complete your deadlines in advance, massively improving your productivity compared to when you were working in the office.  

Adding to this, you will also benefit from the fact that you will have more time than ever before! As there will be no long, arduous commute. Instead, you can use the time to get through your workload.

Plus, you’ll also not need to worry about squeezing next to hundreds of people on the train or sitting in massive traffic jams, which is always a great benefit! 

Increases Your Adaptability

Another advantage is that it increases your adaptability. When you constantly meet new people and travel to places you’ve never been, you will consistently go out of your comfort zone. 

Doing this allows you to be more susceptible to change. Therefore, you will be able to adapt to new things and come up with solutions to problems more easily without worrying about new changes. 

All of this is vital for you to learn new skills and adapt to the changes common in business and the wider world.


The Drawbacks 

All this sounds amazing, right? However, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you jump headfirst into the world of digital nomads. 


One of the great benefits of being a digital nomad is independence. But it can be a disadvantage, too. With no contacts in a different country, along with the varying tax and visa issues that you have no one to ask about, it can sometimes feel lonely. 

There are solutions to this problem, with many digital nomads joining groups that are specifically designed for this particular lifestyle. Also, businesses that offer this style of working sometimes organize meet-ups so support networks can be created. 

What’s more, although it sounds like one, it’s not a holiday, and this lifestyle is not for everyone. However, if you are happy to get out of your comfort zone every now and then, you are bound to enjoy the fantastic rewards that becoming a digital nomad will bring.


As you won’t be working in an office, you will need to be able to motivate yourself to complete your work for your deadlines. This is one of the most vital skills to learn when becoming a digital nomad. 

It can be hard to master, with you wanting to explore the countries you’ve chosen to live in, distracting you from your targets at work. Although, there’s an opportunity to turn this into an advantage. You can use the thought of going on adventures to keep you going during the day and to help fuel your motivation.

As long as you stay disciplined and keep to a daily routine, you shouldn’t struggle with this.


How to Get Started As a Digital Nomad

Wondering how to get started? Find out below as we explain how to work online and the main benefits of freelancing and remote working so that you can have a stress-free time as a digital nomad. 

Job Search

The job search is one of the most important things when considering becoming a digital nomad. Conventionally, when wanting to become a digital nomad, you have two options: remote working or freelancing. 

Remote Working

Remote working is a great option for those who want more financial security when traveling the world. You’ll receive sick and holiday pay along with the possibility of health insurance and other retirement benefits (depending on the company). 

However, you need to be aware of the different types. Some remote working positions will have different requirements you’ll need to follow. For example, certain companies will make it mandatory for you to come into the office from time to time and work to a strict schedule. Plus, there’s the possibility that you can’t leave the country while working. So make sure to carry out research about what you can and can’t do before accepting a job offer.

If you’re wondering how to work online, we can help you with that. At Virtual Internships, we will pair you up with a company you’ll love to work at (all while being 100% remote). As a result, you can easily chase your digital nomad dreams. 


With freelancing, you have the benefit of not having to work for an employer, so you can choose your hours and do as you please. However, remember that you will need to file your business taxes, and you won’t have access to the financial security benefits that come with permanent roles. 


Start Your Digital Nomad Adventure Today

Hopefully, we’ve shared some light on what a digital nomad is and the different avenues you can take to live this lifestyle. 

However, that leaves us with one more question: are you ready to start taking steps to become a digital nomad? 

At Virtual Internships, we introduce graduates and students to a selection of desirable companies that need motivated and talented interns. If you fit into this category and want to explore opportunities in over 150 countries, our remote internship programs have already benefited over 6000+ alumni. As a result, they have been able to begin exciting journeys in their selected field. 

Will you be next? 

Enroll Now

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